Category Archives: Buffalo Bills
When recalling the great Buffalo Bills defenses of the mid-1960s, there are a number of big names that come to mind. Tom Sestak, Ron McDole, Paul Maguire, George Saimes, Butch Byrd, and many others. One that has a tendency to get overlooked, unfortunately, is linebacker Harry Jacobs.
Harry Jacobs was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 11th round of the 1959 NFL Draft, but was released during training camp. Opportunity came knocking shortly after, however, in the form of a brand new professional league. The Boston Patriots picked up the 6’1″ middle linebacker, and thus started a career in which Jacobs played in the very first, and final AFL games for his teams. He is one of just 20 men to have played all 10 AFL seasons.
It has been several years since I’ve received any AFL-related gifts for Christmas, and this year was no different. However, I purchased an autographed trading card on eBay recently, and it arrived in the mail on Christmas Eve, so I’m counting it as a gift to myself.
Collectors of vintage football cards are familiar with the fact that a large number of the players featured in the 1960 Fleer set never actually played in the AFL. The set was produced and released early in the football year, during the AFL’s inaugural season. As a result, player selection for trading cards was a very speculative process, and roughly 25% of the players featured on cards never made their team’s final rosters.
This week has been a great one for interviewing AFL players. First it was the Jets’ Don Maynard, and then today I spoke with longtime Chargers and Bills punter/linebacker, Paul Maguire.
While he is known better by younger generations as an ESPN commentator, Maguire was one of just 20 players to be with an AFL team for the league’s entire 10-year run. He was an excellent punter, and mostly reserve linebacker who has the distinction of having played in six AFL championship games (1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965 & 1966), and being, according to himself, the only player to win three consecutive league championships.
For many years, fans of the 1960s Buffalo Bills have wondered why former Bills head coach, Lou Saban, had been overlooked for inclusion on the team’s Wall of Fame. Saban led the Bills to their lone AFL championships with victories over the favored-Chargers.
The pro-Saban chants seemed to increase in recent years – several articles were written and an Add LOU SABAN to Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame Facebook page was created. But more years passed, and still Saban remained on the outside.